The Intersection of Common Sense and Algorithmic Thinking

Tara H

Hatched by Tara H

Jun 21, 2024

3 min read


The Intersection of Common Sense and Algorithmic Thinking


Common sense and algorithmic thinking may seem like two separate concepts, but upon closer examination, we can find common points that connect them naturally. While common sense is developed through life experiences and learning, algorithmic thinking involves the ability to use step-by-step instructions to solve problems. In this article, we will explore the relationship between common sense and algorithmic thinking, highlighting how they complement each other and can be nurtured to enhance our problem-solving skills.

The Development of Common Sense:

Common sense is not something we are inherently born with; rather, it is an ability that develops as we navigate through life. As we grow older, we gain more insight into the world and acquire a deeper understanding of what makes sense and what potential solutions could be. Common sense is often shaped by our environment, upbringing, and exposure to various situations. It is a combination of intuition, logical reasoning, and practical knowledge that helps us make informed decisions and solve everyday problems.

Algorithmic Thinking: Beyond Memorization:

Algorithmic thinking, on the other hand, goes beyond merely memorizing formulas or instructions. It involves the ability to think critically and construct our own step-by-step processes to solve problems. While algorithms are typically associated with computer science, algorithmic thinking can be applied to various domains of life. It helps us break down complex problems into manageable steps, analyze patterns, and devise strategies to achieve desired outcomes.

Connecting Common Sense and Algorithmic Thinking:

One may wonder how common sense and algorithmic thinking intersect. When we approach a problem using algorithmic thinking, we draw upon our common sense to identify patterns, make logical deductions, and evaluate potential solutions. Common sense provides us with a foundation of knowledge and intuition that helps us navigate the complexities of algorithmic thinking. In turn, algorithmic thinking enhances our common sense by providing a structured approach to problem-solving and improving our ability to analyze and synthesize information effectively.

Nurturing Common Sense and Algorithmic Thinking:

To enhance our common sense and algorithmic thinking skills, it is important to engage in activities that foster these abilities. Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Embrace Curiosity: Curiosity is the fuel that drives learning and development. Cultivate a curious mindset and seek out opportunities to explore new ideas, concepts, and problem-solving techniques. By approaching challenges with a sense of curiosity, you open yourself up to new perspectives and develop a deeper understanding of the world around you.
  • 2. Practice Algorithmic Thinking: Engage in activities that encourage algorithmic thinking, such as solving puzzles, playing strategy games, or participating in coding exercises. These activities challenge your problem-solving skills and help you develop a systematic approach to breaking down complex problems into manageable steps. The more you practice algorithmic thinking, the more natural it will become in your everyday life.
  • 3. Learn from Experience: Common sense is built upon the foundation of experience. Reflect on past situations and analyze the decisions you made. Identify patterns, evaluate their outcomes, and learn from both successes and failures. By consciously learning from your experiences, you can refine your common sense and apply it to future challenges effectively.


Common sense and algorithmic thinking are not mutually exclusive; instead, they complement and enhance each other. By nurturing our common sense through life experiences and actively practicing algorithmic thinking, we can develop stronger problem-solving skills and make more informed decisions. Embrace curiosity, engage in algorithmic thinking activities, and learn from experience to unlock the full potential of both common sense and algorithmic thinking.

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